Transgender fellowship Programme launched

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Zubair Qureshi

First-ever programme in the history of Pakistan to empower the transgender community at the national level was launched with a prime focus on mainstreaming of the community in flood relief and response.

Under this programme, the Peace and Justice Network (PJN) will enhance the capacity and skills of the transgender community in humanitarian disaster relief response, Inclusion, Flood Relief Efforts, and Protection through residential training and also through three months of district engagement of the selected Transgender Fellows, according to a press release on Sunday.

The fellowship is part of PJN’s national program that PJN is implementing in all four provinces and federal level “Bridging the Barriers – Inclusion of Transgender Community in Flood Relief and Response” that PJN is implementing with the support of the Concern Worldwide and USAID’s Bureau for Humanitarian Assistance (BHA).

In this fellowship programme, transgender fellows will be selected from 33 most flood-affected districts due to current floods, including Pishin, Quetta, Sibi, and other geographically marginalized areas of Balochistan, Sindh, KP, and Punjab as during the program preliminary study it has been observed that the transgender community has been excluded at all level.

The transgender community felt that if a proper chance has been given to them and proper training have been provided to them they could have played a very productive role in collaboration with government departments to support their fellow transgender community who have been affected greatly due to recent floods.

Syed Raz Ali, PJN’s CEO and the Convener PJN’s National Transgender Taskforce on Floods Relief & Response, stated that the transgender community in Pakistan was a highly marginalized group and was further marginalized by the devastating flooding that has displaced over 33 million people and left millions deprived of basic needs.

This Fellowship programme first of its kind in the world will provide a great opportunity for the transgender community to play a mainstream role and it will also help them ensure their inclusion with dignity.